News with Views | World future 2013

August 13, 2013

News with Views — August 13, 2013 | Debra Rae

This is a summary. Read original article in full here.

The next horizon: director of engineering at Google, Raymond Kurzweil is a brilliant American inventor, evolutionary futurist, and author of The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999), The Singularity Is Near (2006), How to Create a Mind (2012), and more.

Through his “Edges of Life Lecture Series” at the College of Science (University of Arizona), Kurzweil characterizes information processes of technology as being quite predictable.

Correspondingly, he accepts that the future also can be predicted, but not by employing intuitive linear thinking. Instead, one must take into account exponential progression. What Kurzweil calls the “paradigm shift rate” will allow thirty-two times more progress in the next fifty years than what was achieved in the last fifty.

In his view, the next horizon includes harnessing artificial intelligence. Eventually, Kurzweil believes, our brains will be uploaded to the Internet.

Identifying as “humankind’s best investment” the pairing of futures technologies with cradle-to-grave, learning-by-doing, Ray Kurzweil started the Singularity University. Its mission is to educate, inspire, and empower global leaders to overcome humanity’s most perplexing obstacles.

Purportedly because of exponential growth of technology, life expectancy, wealth, and education over the last two hundred years, Kurzweil predicts for humanity a bright, happy future. [...]